There is no denying that success is built on relentless efforts, but sadly, all everyone cares about is the results.
Do you remember how the relatives used to measure your intelligence by looking at your grades? Well, even when you have grown up, things have hardly changed.
You may be the hardest working marketing personnel in the whole city, but you may never get the appreciation you deserve unless your efforts deliver measurable results.
The problem with the inexperienced content marketers is that they don’t know how to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts. I have seen a few content marketers who are quite brilliant at what they do, but since they don’t know how to measure the success, their contribution often goes unnoticed.
If you are also unaware of the metrics to evaluate content marketing effectiveness, this post is just for you.
Primarily, there are five different sets of metrics that you will need in order to measure the effectiveness of your effectiveness.
However, you need to get acquainted with Google Analytics in order to make proper use of these metrics.
Consumption metrics are the fundamental metrics that can help you learn the efficacy of your content marketing efforts. As a content marketer, you may have already tried to find how many users are viewing your content or how much time they are spending on each piece of content.
The following consumption metrics help you answer these questions effectively.
- Page views: As the name suggests, this metric lets you find the total number of views for a particular page. You can find out the top performing page on your site through Google Analytics.
- Average time spent on a page: This metric is quite self-explanatory. As a marketer, it becomes necessary at times, to learn how much time the users are sparing for an individual post on an average. This may help you create a better content marketing strategy the next time.
- Unique visitors: This metric allows you to estimate the actual size of your audience. Most marketers acknowledge the fact that acquiring new unique visitors is way more beneficial than getting multiple page views from the existing users.
- The number of downloads: If you offer any downloadable content on your page, you should measure the number of downloads to learn how many people spared time to take the necessary steps to access the gated content.
As you can see, the consumption metrics offer a decent overview of how your content marketing strategy has performed so far. While you can get some significant insight into the user behavior, it may also show you the way to form a better content marketing strategy.
Knowing whether you are able to retain the existing visitors with your present content marketing strategy does help you understand the effectiveness of your content marketing activities.
You need to find answers to the questions like how many consumers return to your website to consume more content or how often do they return. The following retention metrics will help you find the data.
- Bounce rate: This is a very common term that is used in the field of content marketing. It signifies the percentage of users who leave the website after a few seconds of a visit. A high bounce rate means the content on the page is not impressive at all.
If the bounce rate is high for all the pages on your website, you should immediately make some changes in your content strategy. Google Analytics may help you to learn where the visitors are actually leaving the website.
- The number of unsubscribers: This data may be disappointing, but you do need to monitor the number of unsubscribers to see how the content is being received by the existing users. If you want to succeed, you need to take several measures to ensure the number of unsubscribers never goes up.
- The comparison between new visitors and the returning ones: If you want to see your website flourish, you need to ensure the number of returning visitors is always higher than the new ones. This demonstrates that your content strategy for retaining the visitors is working.
You may often need to combine the consumption metrics with the retention metrics to have a better understanding of how well does your content strategy perform in terms of retaining the visitors.
The consumption and retention metrics do a great job of telling whether your content marketing strategy is working or not. However, if you need the in-depth knowledge of the involvement of your visitor with your content, you will need to rely on the engagement metrics. Quite evidently, they allow you to know how engaging the content is for the users.
- Click-through rate (CTR): CTR is a crucial metric in content marketing that allows you to find the ratio of the clicks on the links and the views it generates. Since the calls to action (CTAs) are a crucial part of the content, the CTR helps you find out how many people visitors have been motivated by the content to engage further by clicking on the CTA buttons.
- Social media engagement: This metric needs you to be familiar with the various social media platforms. As you may have guessed, it allows you to measure all kinds of engagement (likes, favorites, comments, etc.) your content has generated across various social media platforms.
- Blog comments: While the comments on social media platforms are important, you also need to monitor the comments that you receive on each piece of content you post on the website. Feedbacks are always great, whether they are good or bad. Also, you need to monitor which type of content is fetching more comments.
- Pages per session: This metric lets you find the average pages visited by the audience during each session. If your content is engaging, the average number of pages per session will be high.
As you may have already realized, you can use these metrics on your work and find out whether your content marketing strategy is being able to engage the visitors or you need to modify the strategy for better engagements. Whether you realize it or not, the audience engagement is the first step towards lead generation.
If generating brand awareness is one of the priorities of your content marketing strategies, you will need to focus on the sharing metrics. They let you know whether the content you are publishing is compelling the visitors to share with other or not. As you may realize, people are often encouraged to share content that they can relate to.
- Email forwards: Even though a lot of people say that email marketing is dead, it actually is not. In fact, emails are still one of the most reliable means to communicate. As a marketer, however, you need to treat emails in a much different way.
You need to monitor how many of your subscribers have clicked on the “forward-to-a-friend” link. You can compare the number of forwards with the forwards you received in the previous campaign and see if you need any changes in the strategy this time.
- Social media shares: You will also need to see how well your content is generating brand awareness through the shares. Monitor the social media metrics like retweets, repins and shares as to understand what type of content is resonating best among your audience. As mentioned earlier, it will help you determine which type of content the users are relating to the most.
More shares can generate more engagement which will eventually help you improve the conversion rate. Also, the number of shares means your content marketing strategy is going in the right direction.
As a content marketer, you must be aware of the fact that lead generation is the primary agenda of any content marketing strategy. As you may realize, it takes only one piece of great content to start generating revenues. Lead metrics help you justify the ROI on your content marketing activities. Also, it allows you to find out how many leads your content has scored, and where do these leads come from.
- New subscriptions to newsletters: Newsletter subscriptions are always encouraging, and they signify that the user wants to know every time you post your content. It certainly means that your content marketing strategy is working.
- The number of gated content downloads: Downloads of gated content makes it to the lead metrics as well, since they suggest that your content has been quite effective in converting the users. If you have any downloadable content like whitepapers, presentation, ebooks or reports, you can Setup Goal Completions in Google Analytics to monitor downloads and the referral sources.
One of the major challenges for content marketers is that they don’t know how to measure the generated leads. These aforementioned metrics will certainly help you find the actual figure. Also, they can help you understand which type of content can help you generate more leads.
Well, these were the major metrics to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. However, if you want to learn more about such metrics, you can explore Google Analytics and similar tools which have more to offer than just simple measurements of your efforts.
Author bio: Nandita Srivastava is a creative and results-driven content specialist. She is fond of writing about various spheres of life. The most recurring themes she covers are education, writing, and marketing. She has her own writing style, and that is why she is appreciated by readers. Currently working with an academic writing company providing essay help services to students.